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Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2012 May;16(2):180-99. doi: 10.1177/1088868311430835. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Protesters as "passionate economists": a dynamic dual pathway model of approach coping with collective disadvantage.

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  • 1University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. M.van.Zomeren@rug.nl

Abstract

To explain the psychology behind individuals' motivation to participate in collective action against collective disadvantage (e.g., protest marches), the authors introduce a dynamic dual pathway model of approach coping that integrates many common explanations of collective action (i.e., group identity, unfairness, anger, social support, and efficacy). It conceptualizes collective action as the outcome of two distinct processes: emotion-focused and problem-focused approach coping. The former revolves around the experience of group-based anger (based in appraised external blame for unfair collective disadvantage). The latter revolves around beliefs in the group's efficacy (based in appraised instrumental coping potential for social change). The model is the first to make explicit the dynamic nature of collective action by explaining how undertaking collective action leads to the reappraisal of collective disadvantage, thus inspiring future collective action. The authors review empirical support for the model, discuss its theoretical and practical implications, and identify directions for future research and application.

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